This week in the triumphant return of HTML Giant Word Spaces, we have the kindly and brilliant Mr. Peter Davis, author of the quite hilarious and smart and new-voiced Hitler’s Mustache, (which, with such a great cover, how could you pass up? though the poems are just as awesome: you can read examples of them here) and much else, including, most recently, a series of beguilingly ultra honest poems such as these here. Peter Davis lives, teaches poetry, writes, and raises a family in Muncie, Indiana, where he has so kindly taken the time to tour for us the spot where his words do the make.
The place I work is usually a mess, though I prefer it when it’s clean.
For instance, this is what is on my desk now, aside from my computer.
2 drawings my son did
an envelope addressed to Dr. Fred Johnson
Kent Johnson’s Homage to the Last Avant-Garde
owners manual for a NordicTrack treadmill
2 stacks of photos
2 empty glasses cases
3 opened letters
a tape measure
a stamp maker that has my old address
a small rock
a thing of lip balm
2 remote controls (one useless)
a hole puncher
a staple remover (have never used this, I don’t think)
an answering machine
a small candle
a baby monitor
a small dish full of guitar picks
an empty beer can
a 3 ring binder with numerous loose pages
a very short guitar cable
2 bottle caps
an empty picture frame
stack of papers (song lyrics and stupid drawings)
6 CDs in jewel cases
some loose post-it notes
When my desk is clean, I will remove all of this stuff except for
the answering machine
a small stack of papers
small dish full of guitar picks
My desk gets clean once every 4-6 months, I’d guess.
Beside my desk is another desk—the desk I had as a child in my bedroom. It has a printer on it and a Hives CD and another stack of papers and a stocking cap and a tape recorder and a thing that we put our camera on when we’re making photos or charging it. Inside this desk are art/office supplies: pens, markers, crayons, pencils, rulers, paperclips, some screwdrivers, old glasses, staples, glue, paper, pencil sharpener, white out, a knife, an old checkbook, etc. The drawers are all partly opened.
Beside that desk is another desk, a drawing desk that Tom Koontz gave me when he moved. On this desk are even more stacks of papers and ceramic bowls full of screws and pens and change and a lamp and other stuff.
All of these desks are in the basement. Not matter where I’ve lived with Jengi, my sweet wife, I always end up in the basement. Upstairs, she is watching TV and sewing. Up another flight of stairs, my kids are sleeping, one in a bed, one in a crib. Down here, I’m writing about it.
Around my desks are a small space heater, another lamp, another lamp, a bookcase, a guitar, another bookcase, some pictures, a mirror, a TV, a trash can, and another chair.
I have felt the sensation that the objects around me sometimes feel like they are trying to smother me. They all lean in on me, trying to push me around the house. I’m sometimes, like, Dude, back off!